By | Tim Madden
In Robert Greene’s acclaimed book The 48 Laws of Power, the fourth law is to always say less than necessary. This might come as a surprise if you pride yourself on being able to talk yourself out of anything (or talk anyone into anything), but there are times when keeping your talking to a minimum can be a winning strategy. Job interviews are one of those times.
Sitting in complete silence for the entire duration of the interview might not be a recipe for success, but failing to let the interviewer get a word in isn’t either. Here’s why dialing the talking down could help you earn more.
Silence is power
According to Greene, the reason that silence is so powerful ultimately comes down to staying in control. We tend to let ourselves slip or come out with silly things when we speak for too long while keeping things brief can make our statements seem more profound (and lowers the chance of us saying something ridiculous).
At first glance, this might not seem particularly applicable to the world of interviews — you can’t exactly hope to win the job by maintaining an era of mystique and talking in riddles or giving one-word responses with meaningful glances. But it’s still true that saying too much can deprive you of the opportunity to wait for a reaction and respond to the interviewer’s cues.